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Typhoon Chanchu prowling the Western Pacific

From the Associated Press:

MANILA — Tropical Storm Chanchu gained strength Sunday as it headed away from the Philippines, where it killed 37 people and left thousands homeless, officials said.

Most of the dead were aboard a ferry that sank near central Masbate island Friday after the skipper ignored a coast guard ban on sea travel. At least 26 people drowned, according to Neri Amparo, an official of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

Coast guard boats and fishermen rescued 18 other passengers of the Mae Ann and were searching for at least two others who were reported missing by their families. Authorities have not found the ferry's passenger manifest and were unsure if there were other victims, Amparo said.

- Read more from Manila -

The latest on Typhoon Chanchu is not looking bright. At this point, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is forecasting Chanchu to pass directly over Hong Kong with sustained winds over 165 mph. Currently Typhoon Chanchu has maximum sustained winds of 150 mph and a central pressure of 910 mb.

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Infrared satellite imagery is showing strong convection in all quadrants of the typhoon, however, the eye remains fairly 'dirty.'

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Microwave imagery is indicating a very well defined eyewall. Currently none of the outer bands have wrapped around the core so eyewall replacement does not look to be an immediate factor. At this point there is plenty of room for Chanchu to strengthen further.

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Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink